Environmental Protection

Environmental Health and Safety


EPA Announces Funding for Research to Improve Air Quality, Protect Health

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded five grants totaling almost $2 million to academic institutions for research on innovative processes to further improve air quality in the U.S. and help track the effectiveness of pollution control measures.

Researchers Find Substantial Water Pollution Risks From Fracking to Recover Natural Gas

Stony Brook University scientists have found that the disposal of contaminated wastewater from hydraulic fracturing – commonly known as “fracking” – wells producing natural gas in the Marcellus Shale region poses substantial potential risks of river and other water pollution that suggests additional regulation to reduce the potential of drinking water contamination.

Microbes, Sponges, and Worms Add to Coral Reef Woes

Microbes, sponges, and worms -- the side effects of pollution and heavy fishing -- are adding insult to injury in Kenya's imperiled reef systems, according to a recent study by the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of Azores.

Bringing Power to the People -- and Heat as Well

In some isolated clinics in parts of Africa, the electricity needed to power lights and medical devices is generated by expensive imported diesel fuel; the water supply can be so cold in winter that health workers can’t even wash their hands properly. But a startup company established by a team of MIT students and alumni aims to change that.

Crayfish Species Proves to Be the Ultimate Survivor

One of the most invasive species on the planet is able to source food from the land as well as its usual food sources in the water, research from Queen Mary, University of London has found.

Birds That Live With Varying Weather Sing More Versatile Songs

A new study of North American songbirds reveals that birds that live with fluctuating weather are more flexible singers.

Michigan Town Supervisor Sentenced to Three Years in Prison For Conspiring to Defraud HUD

William Morgan, the former supervisor of Royal Oak Township, a suburb of Detroit, was sentenced in federal court to three years in prison. Mr. Morgan had previously entered a guilty plea to charges that he conspired to defraud the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), violate the Clean Air Act’s asbestos requirements, and commit bribery.

Ancient Coral Reefs at Risk From Deforestation and Land Use Practices

A team of international scientists, including a researcher from The University of Western Australia, has found that soil erosion, land degradation and climate change pose a mounting threat to coastal reefs and their ecosystems in the western Indian Ocean.



Research Could Lead to Improved Oil Recovery, Better Environmental Cleanup

Researchers have taken a new look at an old, but seldom-used technique developed by the petroleum industry to recover oil, and learned more about why it works, how it could be improved, and how it might be able to make a comeback not only in oil recovery but also environmental cleanup.

Skin Cancer Identified for the First Time in Wild Fish Populations

Widespread skin cancer has been identified for the first time in wild marine fish populations, new research has shown.

Earth's Ecosystems Still Absorbing About Half the Greenhouse Gases Emitted by People

Earth's oceans, forests and other ecosystems continue to soak up about half the carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere by human activities, even as those emissions have increased, according to a study by University of Colorado and NOAA scientists published August 1 in the journal Nature.

Tropical Climate in the Antarctic

A study published in the journal Nature shows that tropical vegetation, including palms and relatives of today’s tropical Baobab trees, was growing on the coast of Antarctica 52 million years ago.

GM Opens Community Urban Garden in Southwest Detroit

General Motors is unveiling Cadillac Urban Gardens on Merritt, a community project where 250 shipping crates from Orion Assembly — home of the Buick Verano and Chevrolet Sonic — are converted into raised garden beds.

Underwater Ecosystem Inundated by Sediment Plume

Scuba-diver scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey are returning to the mouth of Washington’s Elwha River this week to explore and catalogue the effect of released sediment on marine life following the nation’s largest dam removal effort.

EPA Identifies Substitutes for Toxic Flame Retardant Chemical

In its quest to identify possible substitutes for a toxic flame retardant chemical known as decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a draft report on alternatives.

Coral Reef Thriving in Sediment-Laden Waters

Rapid rates of coral reef growth have been identified in sediment-laden marine environments, conditions previously believed to be detrimental to reef growth. A new study has established that Middle Reef -- part of Australia's iconic Great Barrier Reef -- has grown more rapidly than many other reefs in areas with lower levels of sediment stress.

Antiques Dealer Pleads Guilty to Crimes Related to Trafficking Endangered Rhinoceros Horns

David Hausman, an antiques dealer in Manhattan, pleaded guilty today in Manhattan federal court to obstruction of justice and creating false records, in relation to illegal rhinoceros horn trafficking.

Tiny Airborne Pollutants Lead Double Life Study

The observations could have important implications for modelling global climate change and predicting air quality conditions. The tiny particles, which form part of an airborne chemical mix above cities, play a role in pollution by providing a surface for chemical reactions and in climate by reflecting and absorbing solar radiation and by acting as seed surfaces for water condensation and cloud formation.

Cooling, Not Population Loss, Led to Fewer Fires After 1500 in New World

In the years after Columbus' voyage, burning of New World forests and fields diminished significantly -- a phenomenon some have attributed to decimation of native populations by European diseases. But a new University of Utah-led study suggests global cooling resulted in fewer fires because both preceded Columbus in many regions worldwide.

High Court Allows Exxon Valdez to Be Scrapped

Bloomberg and TradeWinds News reported July 30 that two judges on India’s Supreme Court have allowed the ship once named the Exxon Valdez to be scrapped at a yard in Alang on the country’s western coast.

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